The Baltimore Ravens picked the right time to start playing defense again.
For most of this season, they stumbled along, hemorrhaging points and yards as critics questioned what happened to a unit that was once the backbone of the team. Well, key players were hurt, that's what, and now that they're back so is the Baltimore defense.
OK, so these aren't your 2000 Ravens. Few teams are. But they're good enough, sound enough and physical enough on defense to make critical stops, force key turnovers and become the force they were not a couple of months ago -- and if you're skeptical I suggest you roll the videotape of that blow Bernard Pollard put on Stevan Ridley in the second half of the Ravens' 28-13 defeat of New England Sunday.
Ridley fumbled and did not play again.
"That was the turning point of the game," Ravens' coach John Harbaugh said afterward.